NDOW officials search for injured bear shot by person inside Incline Village home

A photo of Jasper, the Incline Village bear that died Sunday after being accidentally shot with a live round by a Washoe County deputy Saturday morning. (Photo courtesy: Lake Tahoe Wall of Shame Facebook page)

Many people who live in Incline Village are used to hearing about bears breaking into cars and garages in their neighborhood, but it's not every day they hear about one of their neighbors actually coming face-to-face with one.

Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) officials are searching for an injured black bear that broke into a home there early Wednesday morning.

They said a person woke up in the early morning hours of Wednesday to find a bear inside their house. That person was able to grab a handgun and shoot the bear, which apparently scared the animal off.

NDOW crews found a blood trail when they arrived on scene, but they still haven't been able to track down the bear. Officials said they have boots on the ground in Incline Village, actively searching for the bear.

Tyler Turnipseed is the NDOW Chief Game Warden. He said, "Obviously we have a couple concerns: one being the welfare of the bear.... The humane treatment of the bear, number one, and of course the public safety concern. If we have a bear running around Incline Village that's potentially wounded, obviously, we'd want to know about that and figure out how to try and fix the situation."

NDOW officials said they've never seen this much bear activity in our region before. Turnipseed said, "We are seeing a little bit of a ramp up in bear activity, numbers of bears, aggressiveness of bears, and it's obviously something that concerns us quite a bit."

Officials said there haven't been any bear attacks on the Nevada side of the border in recent years, but just a few weeks ago, someone was severely injured in an attack in Tahoe City.

Since 1986, there have been at least 24 bear attacks in the California counties that border the Nevada state line.

Turnipseed said it's always sad when they have to track down a bear and euthanize it, but once a bear becomes bold enough to enter a house and taste human food, the animal is extremely likely to approach humans again.

Wildlife officials said the incident Wednesday is just another reminder for people living in bear country to make sure they don't have trash in their cars or around their property.

If you come across a bear, officials said you should get as big as you can and make a lot of noise-- acting aggressive can help scare the bear away.

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